By Mary Taruvinga
SUSPENDED Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Henrietta Rushwaya has approached the High Court appealing for bail after she was denied the same by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna recently.
Rushwaya is accused of attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai via Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport earlier this month.
The state also accused her of trying to bribe police officers with US$5 000 after her arrest at the airport and is facing another charge of unlawful possession of gold.
In her appeal, filed on her behalf by lawyer Tapson Dzvetero, Rushwaya said the magistrate erred in failing to find that she was a suitable candidate for bail.
Rushwaya also accused Nduna of making a ruling without relying on any evidence.
She denied having outside links arguing that all her interests were in this country, and as such, has no reason to flee.
Rushwaya said she intends to go back to work and carry on with her work as ZMF president.
“The applicant does not harbour any ambition to leave the country as she has serious interests in the land, and upon acquittal, she intends to continue with her mining business as she possesses various business interests that are sounding in real money as she has a special grant in favour of her company and is in partnership with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation for some serious mining business,” said Dzvetero.
He added: “The learned magistrate misdirected himself when he reopened the bail proceedings when the state had consented. The magistrate had asked for reasons from the state and he made a pronunciation on how he intended to be addressed on the reasons for consent. The fact that he then reopened the proceedings afresh after the state had withdrawn consent is tantamount to him reviewing his own decision which is a misdirection.”
Rushwaya is jointly charged with Ali Mohammed, a Pakistan businessman who is out on a $100 000 bail.
Other accomplices believed to be part of the gold smuggling syndicate include; Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives Raphios Mufandauya and Steven Tserayi as well as Rushwaya’s subordinate Steven Tserayi.
The matter is yet to be heard.